Presenting a talk is not an easy thing. It can bring the feeling of pressure, anxiety, and you may start suspecting of your skills for that. Having your proposal approved is just the beginning of this potentially painful adventure.
People handle these feelings differently. Actually, some don’t even need to handle that. Anyhow, today I’d like to share my three main techniques to present neat talks and keep my mind serene.
1) Keep the scope clear
Generally, I try to restrict the scope of things I talk and raise the level of complexity. In other words, I prefer to invest more time in two things than briefly talk about fifteen things.
For example, instead of giving a talk about Rails 6, I prefer to talk about everything that changes on ActiveRecord from Rails 5 to Rails 6. So, I can explore much more details of the ORM and forget about other side topics.
This method reduces that common fear of not knowing how to answer a question. You don’t need to know everything if you’re not trying to talk about everything.
2) Create well-defined topics
Usually, talks have something between 45min and 1h - it’s a considerable amount of time. Many ideas can be shared, and we have the freedom to concatenate our thoughts the way we want. But, take a look:
Here we have two styles of talks. Of course, both can be exciting and excellent presentations. But, grouping your ideas into significant points helps the audience to understand the structure of your content.
Additionally, it helps the audience to remember your talk, maybe they don’t know some specific subject, but the overall idea gets more consolidated.
3) Tell a history
Telling a story creates a feeling of progress, cause, and consequence. It’s much cooler to learn something with a purpose than watch some descriptive content.
Here you can use some creative freedom, build a fictional motivation, or share something that happened to you. The important thing is to give some scenario and color to the content you’re presenting.
Participating in conferences is a mutual exchange. People decided to listen to your ideas, and you chose to organize the thoughts you found relevant in this lovely talk. It’s a very friendly event, we must think about this as a conversation between future friends :-)
I hope you’ve enjoyed it.